Open Thread: Money Flower Episodes 3 & 4

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I’m so happy to know that you guys are enjoying this group watch, and that this has been a very positive introduction to Jang Hyuk’s magnificence for some of you! Coz I’m always happy about more Jang Hyuk love in the house, heh. 🤩

I hope you guys are ready to chat about Money Flower episodes 3 & 4! Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 3

This episode, it feels as if things are moving really fast, with the relationship development between Boo Cheon and Mo Hyun feeling especially accelerated. Yet, at the same time, everything mostly also feels like it’s being held within tight control. So while things might be moving along really quickly, it doesn’t feel at all helter-skelter; it’s all managed – largely, anyway, except for when Boo Cheon’s chafing to be at the reins – with a great deal of precision. That combination makes the watch quite absorbing, I find.

Certainly, as a number of you have pointed out, there is a definite amount of suspension of disbelief required around Pil Joo’s uncanny ability to predict how the various people in his plan will act or react, and why. I’m happy to suspend that disbelief, because in this heightened melodramatic, soap-operatic, darkly elegant drama world, Pil Joo is supposed to be that mysterious and extraordinary. That’s why he commands so much soft power, even though he is technically Cheong A Group’s “dog.”

It’s interesting to me, that in this episode’s opening scene, Pil Joo’s voiceover, asks Mal Ran not to give way to anything, “until he pokes his own eyes, cuts his own flesh, and throttles himself.” I hadn’t picked up on this before, but from this voiceover, we can infer that Pil Joo’s revenge plan target isn’t primarily Mal Ran, even though he’s certainly not exactly on her side either. Rather, it seems that he’s using her to get at his true target – who looks to be Grandpa Chairman.

The development of the “naturally fated” romance between Boo Cheon and Mo Hyun happens at a dizzying speed this episode, with Boo Cheon going from looking at Mo Hyun’s pictures with Pil Joo, to going on dates with her and kissing her and staying up all night talking with her and making plans to sleep with her, all in the space of what feels like a few days.

From Boo Cheon’s point of view, this is, of course, ideal, because he wants to marry Mo Hyun as quickly as possible, so that he can gain secondary power from his in-laws. The question is whether we can accept that this all feels natural and appealing, from Mo Hyun’s point of view.

And, because Show has done a good job emphasizing that Mo Hyun puts so much store in the idea of a fated love who is “the one,” that once we establish that Mo Hyun is increasingly convinced that she and Boo Cheon are fated to meet, and make a great match, it’s easy to believe that she would happily throw herself into the whirlwind romance that seems to accompany this fated meeting.

The sticky thing, of course, is the fact that she knows Boo Cheon as Pil Joo, and vice versa. That’s a tricky thing indeed. In fact, I wonder at the stories that Boo Cheon tells Mo Hyun while acting as Pil Joo; surely that whole story about tying himself down during the World Cup, was either fabricated, or borrowed from Pil Joo?

While Boo Cheon rambles uninhibitedly to Pil Joo about all his thoughts around dating, marrying, and sleeping with Mo Hyun, it’s clear that all of Boo Cheon’s thoughtless words have an effect on Pil Joo. Pil Joo is highly guarded almost all the time, and he consistently keeps his responses to Boo Cheon smooth and in line with their shared plan towards Boo Cheon marrying Mo Hyun, yes, but the camera lingers enough to show us the glimpses of discomfort that Pil Joo deals with, each time Boo Cheon says something about Mo Hyun.

Despite Pil Joo not having any qualms about casting Mo Hyun as a pawn on his chessboard, it’s becoming clear that he also cares about whether she’s treated honorably, and whether she is sincerely happy with the developments in her life. When Boo Cheon talks about not knowing whether he can like Mo Hyun until he’s slept with her, Pil Joo abruptly ends the slideshow of Mo Hyun’s pictures, takes Boo Cheon’s face in his hands, and reminds him that his dream is to have Cheong A, and that if he doesn’t sincerely impress Mo Hyun, then his hopes of the marriage, and of Cheong A, are over.

The way Pil Joo delivers that message, feels convincingly like he’s a concerned mentor, but at the same time, there’s a slight tightness to his voice, and a touch of disquiet in his gaze, that makes me feel like this effort to protect Mo Hyun is a lot more personal than he’d like to let on.

Plus, there’s that whole dynamic where the way Boo Cheon wins Mo Hyun’s heart, is essentially using Pil Joo’s words and Pil Joo’s lens. The way he talks about being happy to see the migratory birds, and the way he talks about being more drawn to her personality and her looks; these are the key things that bowl her over, and as viewer, I can’t help but connect that these are all things that Pil Joo has said. Which means that she’s actually falling for Pil Joo, without knowing it. It’s all quite twisted, but all the more absorbing, because of it.

We do get a sense that Boo Cheon is starting to chafe (well, more than before) at how Pil Joo is involved in every area of his life, and is the reason for his success. Now, he’s telling Pil Joo to stay out of his love life and marriage; that he’ll be able to get married successfully now, even without Pil Joo’s help.

This all sounds like ignorant folly on Boo Cheon’s part to my ears, because, as we’ve seen, the only reason Boo Cheon’s even been able to get this far in courting Mo Hyun, is all because of Pil Joo’s help. Boo Cheon now saying that he can take it from here, and that Pil Joo should basically butt out, feels like a child saying that he can now earn money to take care of the family, because he’s learned his ABCs. 😏

This does have an effect on Pil Joo, though. Where mostly we’ve only seen Pil Joo’s discomfort expressed in tiny micro-expressions, in the scene where Boo Cheon blithely informs Pil Joo that he plans to sleep with Mo Hyun that day, Pil Joo’s morphing expression in the car, literally looks like his blood is coming to a boil beneath the surface, and he’s forcibly tamping it down, by sheer force of the will. Really impressive delivery there by Jang Hyuk; this scene never fails to blow me away. 😱

On the strategic side of things, I have to admit that I just like watching Pil Joo wield all the power as the hidden puppet master, while looking studiously like an innocent bystander, while he moves his pawns as he pleases. This episode, we can see this best in the way he basically twists Yeo Cheon’s arm to give Daeil Distribution back to Boo Cheon, even though Grandpa Chairman wants Yeo Cheon to have it.

The way Pil Joo just nods and accepts Grandpa Chairman’s decision, when really, Pil Joo’s the one who’s making it all happen, is all quite fascinating and satisfying. I like this idea of how in control Pil Joo is, as a master strategist. I think I might have mentioned this in my Money Flower review, but this aspect of Pil Joo reminds me of Mei Changsu in my favorite C-drama Nirvana In Fire, and that is high praise indeed.

We end the episode with Pil Joo approaching a thoughtful looking Mo Hyun, and re-introducing himself as Boo Cheon, only to have her look him right in the eye, and address him as Pil Joo instead. 😱

Ooh. The plot thickens (although, as some of you have pointed out, it’s already very thick, heh). Exactly how much does Mo Hyun know, what has she deduced, and how did we get here?

Episode 4

This face. This plaintive, wistful face, so full of aching and yearning, which Pil Joo lets slip more than once this episode, is where we spend the bulk of this hour.

As it turns out, Pil Joo is the one who (anonymously) alerts Mo Hyun to Boo Cheon’s and his true identities, thus derailing her whirlwind romance with Boo Cheon, at least momentarily. To me, the most interesting question has to be, why Pil Joo would go out of his way to do something that essentially goes against the very plan that he himself has so painstakingly put in place.

At about this episode’s halfway mark, we hear Pil Joo say in voiceover to Mo Hyun, “You should stop this. I’m so broken and ruined… that I can’t stop myself… from pushing you towards the agony called Cheong A.”

I feel like this is the most raw glimpse that we get into Pil Joo’s heart of hearts, which is usually so well concealed and modulated by the strategist in him. All this time, Pil Joo has managed to continue with his chosen plan, even when Boo Cheon says thoughtless, disrespectful things about Mo Hyun. Perhaps this sense of unease in Pil Joo has been building up with each conversation with Boo Cheon, culminating in Boo Cheon’s declaration of his intention of sleeping with Mo Hyun? Which then is the thing that galvanizes Pil Joo into a last-ditch effort to give Mo Hyun the chance to save herself?

It hadn’t occurred to me to ask this during my first watch, but now, I wonder if this is equally an expression of his conscience, as much as it is an expression of his heart for her? I can see that Pil Joo has no qualms about hatching a revenge plan against the entire Cheong A family, but Mo Hyun is basically an innocent bystander who happens to qualify as a useful pawn. I’d like to think that Pil Joo does have to wrestle with his conscience, for dragging Mo Hyun into this.

At the same time, it’s increasingly clear this episode, that Pil Joo is very much affected by Mo Hyun. Pil Joo is usually so unruffled and calculated, regardless of what is happening around him. The fact that he would go to the scuba diving school and allow himself to be seen by Mo Hyun, out of concern for whether she’s alright, says a great deal. She can unsettle him, and clearly, this is something that he has to grapple with.

By the time we reach the end of our episode, Pil Joo’s gotten his emotions under control, and is back to being impassive and in control, even coaching Boo Cheon on how to salvage his relationship with Mo Hyun, by turning Pil Joo’s piggyback moment with Mo Hyun, into his own.

It’s very clever and effective, and it isn’t long at all, before Mo Hyun’s visiting Grandpa Chairman and Mal Ran, to talk about marriage plans – and yet, at the same time, this solution strikes me as something that’s even more cold and calculated, and that digs even deeper into Pil Joo’s heartache, than all the other plans that had gone before. This was his special, personal, private moment with Mo Hyun (even though she didn’t know it), and now, he’s forcibly tearing it away from himself, and giving it to Boo Cheon to claim as his own. Oof. That’s got to hurt. 💔

I can already see that Mo Hyun and Mooshimwon are not going to be a good fit. Mo Hyun’s all heart, and Mooshimwon (the hanja of which is “無心園,” which you can see hanging over the main entrance) literally means “heartless garden.” And, as we see from the way Grandpa Chairman and everyone else conduct affairs, this place – this family – really is all business, with “business” being a rather generous way of describing the things that they do.

To be fair, there are times when Grandpa Chairman actually seems to make good business sense to me, like when he tells Mal Ran that he can’t promise Boo Cheon a senior position just because of his parentage. At the same time, when Grandpa Chairman shows his heartless side, it is startlingly cold.

Like when Mal Ran reminds him that he’d been the one to request for Boo Cheon’s father Soo Man (and thus also Pil Joo’s father) to be taken off life support, when there had still been a chance (albeit a small one) that he might have woken up, given time. Woah. 🤯 That’s cold. How does a father do that, when it concerns his own son?? And how awful, that Grandpa Chairman turns around and blames everything on Mal Ran, because she’d stressed out her husband by being too strong-headed. 😱 UGH. That’s awful and insane – and yes, heartless. Grandpa Chairman named Mooshimwon well. (Or did he live up to that name, if he wasn’t the one who christened it?)

At this point, I just wanted to take a moment to talk some more, about the way Mal Ran relates to Pil Joo. This episode, we get more instances of their body language hinting, subtly but definitely, at a relationship that feels more like that between lovers, than that between a master and subordinate.

What jumps out at me, is how, during the flashback to when Pil Joo was an adolescent, the way Mal Ran approaches him and touches him, like in the screenshot above, with her hand to his shoulder, leans lover-esque as well. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Mal Ran had seduced Pil Joo at some point, whether when he’d been a teen, or after he’d become an adult, in order to gain an emotional hold over him. Or, y’know, perhaps because she had been attracted to him too, which I wouldn’t be surprised by. She strikes me as a woman who likes to feel powerful.

Also, this episode, there’s the scene where Mal Ran basically loses her cool and throws a bit of a fit, accusing Pil Joo of being Mo Hyun’s spokesperson. Given Mal Ran’s general cool demeanor, this struck me as rather unusual, and I can’t help wondering if this was a jealous fit by a lover, rather than an angry outburst by an unhappy master.

As some of you predicted, Seo Won is back, and it appears that she’s pregnant. Ooh. 👀 Things are definitely getting even more complicated now, for Boo Cheon. He’s finally got Mo Hyun back, and their wedding is officially in the works, but Seo Won doesn’t look like she’s ready to sit back and play second fiddle, judging from that look on her face. Gah. Doesn’t this look like a trainwreck waiting to happen?

..I can’t look away, though. Can you? 😉

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phl1rxd
6 months ago

Both times I watched this drama, the scene in the car of Pil Joo’s face is surreal. You can see the blood vessels about to burst. It caused me to gasp both times, it is that well acted.

The first time I watched this I constantly wondered how long Mo Hyun could stay an innocent sweet young girl.

The grandfather is such a wretched excuse of a man. E5 and 6 here I come!

Drama Fan
6 months ago

One minute my heart breaks for Piljoo when he looks at Na Mo Hyun with such longing. Its beyond love, its more like he is begging for her to “save” him again from his own horrible plan/existence. But, the next minute I’m paralyzed when Im reminded that it was him who purposely planted in her the “memories” that it was Bucheon who saved her when she was drunk 😳 Piljoo is one damaged and scary individual. Can a person be borderline psycho? 👀 and why do I love him? Where’s that holy water!

Drama Fan
6 months ago

A couple of random reactions to ep 3. First, the way Moo Hyun falls in love with Piljoo’s persona and life story behind Bucheon’s face, is like a darker version of Cyrano. Bucheon acts almost as if he “knows” Piljoo at least likes her and sort of rubs it in his face, how close he is getting to MoHyun etc Its like he is provoking right? And Piljoo (again, I know my man is sick) does one thing with the right hand (sets the trap for MoHyun) and another with the left hand (show her the truth about his and Bucheon’s identity thus giving her a chance to save herself) He truly acts like a puppet master. Was that move due to compassion for her or was it jealousy? Maybe both right? This episode I realized Mo Hyun is not gullible or naive, she is just a normal person who is being trapped. Its scary actually because the plan is so perfect and meticulous that anyone would fall.

Drama Fan
6 months ago

I still have not been able to catch up! Im soooo desperate for more free time lol! but, every time I see that picture of Piljoo I sigh a little and get all “heart eyed”. Yes, yes, I know he is a broke twisted dude, but what to do? I just lurve him! Thats it, thats the meaningless pointless comment lol! Promise to try and come back with something more substantial once I actually catch up.

MC
MC
7 months ago

Ugh, this show, so good. It’s excellently done makjang. This coming from someone who recently tried to watch World of the Married but dropped it coz it was just too much (but it’s a really well done show). But Money Flower does it so perfectly. Jang Hyuk is amazing. Coiled intensity is the perfect description! And the music – I love it. It feels like this show, like Piljoo’s plan, knows exactly where it’s going even it feels like it gets derailed at times and I love it. Can’t wait for more!

seankfletcher
7 months ago

What is breathtaking, and we see this in later episodes, is what Pil Joo has in place that allows him to perform the role as the consummate “puppet master.”

As for the “femme fatales,” in this delectable play, they are all sirens in their own way 🤣 Pil Joo’s ability to manoeuvre through the challenges they present is almost Odysseus like 😉

beez
7 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

@sean- “puppet master” is right! This link to the series poster says it all https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvE2-hpAQD1620rQQCQnndtddMHs

seankfletcher
7 months ago
Reply to  beez

Thanks, Beez. I think it was the poster that initially drew me in.

phl1rxd
6 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – another interesting tidbit from Beez’s Cloud closet! that is a great poster and says it all.

Ally
7 months ago

This show is much more soapy than I’m used to, reminds me of all the ALL MY CHILDREN episodes I watched with and without my mom as a kid. Especially those flash backs with teenage Pil Joo/ Eun Cheon in the house. The filming angles and camera filters are those soap opera ones. Have you noticed? The cliff hangers too—so soapy. I do love Jang Hyuk’s acting in this. He’s so anguished when Boo Cheon runs up to Mo Hyun and kisses her. You can see the heartbreak all over his face, but so subtle. Amazing.

The plot thickens, right? I do like that the show feels deliberate, like there’s a plan and it won’t deviate from it, like it knows exactly where it’s going. Very much like you know Pil Joo has a plan and won’t deviate until he reaches its conclusion. And man if he isn’t the most patient person in the world. He reads people and is so observant. I’m married to some exactly like Pil Joo, who can predict everyone’s motives and actions before they occur. Pil Joo would have been an excellent psychiatrist.

It took everything I had not to push next episode after 4– I knew scorned woman would be back with a baby!

Drama Fan
7 months ago
Reply to  Ally

Yes, at the time the press called it “a masterpiece makjang” which is similar to saying “masterpiece soap opera”. Even the dramatic music score is soapy. And the use of extreme closeup which is a staple of melodrama. But it is self aware and purposeful.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
7 months ago

Who, what, where, when now?! Third watch, kfangurl, and I still hadn’t got that it was Pilju who gave Mohyun the tip off ‘re their swapped identities. Are you sure?! I always thought it was Seowon! I got that Pilju wanted Mohyun to escape his plan because she’s his teenage saviour and he digs her honesty and all-round loveliness, but I had never realised he gave her the means to escape Cheong A. Hmmm, his emotions really are complex. I think it’s very sad that -aside from the kissing, which I’m guessing Bucheon is seriously good at 😊 – everything that attracts Mohyun to Bucheon belongs to Pilju. And if she realised Pilju was the boy she’d saved, she’d save him again in a heartbeat from his self-destructive revenge. Oh, I know he’s beyond redemption really, but I am longing for Mohyun to discover all the truth and just give Pilju a really big hug. So close at the Bird sanctuary! If only Mal Ran hadn’t followed. Would he have confessed all to Mohyun? Would he have given up on revenge if he had her? 😥 Ah, the longing. It’s all he’s left with.

Agree about the weird vibe between Mal Ran and teenage Pilju. What kind of young man could resist her?! But I doubt, for all her methods of persuasion, Pilju has ever forgotten her role in the lake incident even if he doesn’t quite yet know who to blame more. She’s really an incredible manipulator who is clueless she’s being manipulated. I just love the awful things she says like they’re completely reasonable opinions to have. There’s clearly some mental disorder being implied. Had she been hospitalised before for it? Is that why Pilju has an odd protectiveness toward her? Like, don’t lose your mind yet, I need you. How odd to feel a bit sorry for her, especially with Grandpa Chairman turning the finger on her.

Speaking of Grandpa Chairman, who else found it hilarious he was doing press ups with mistress on his back! And Mal Ran’s acidic expression when she saw 😆 I love him too, even though he’s utterly lacking in empathy. They are all despicable, all mired in the idea of profit and power and in Pilju’s case, revenge. All are eaten up with it, with the exception of Mohyun, whose only crime is being soft-hearted. In Mal Ran’s and Grandpa Chairman’s book of course, that’s a weighty crime indeed.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

This is why, kfangurl, you’re the master kdrama blogger and I’m just a viewer needing your posts!! 😍 I know exactly the moment you mean, had just never appreciated that that’s the moment he’d dropped off the letter 😑 I believed his surprise at the bus stop because I’m as trusting and gullible as Mohyun!! Ah, that’s funny he chose the article about him acing his law degree – modest! He’s so messed up. Love it! Xx

phl1rxd
6 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Hi Ele – Can you just imagine what is going through Mal Ran’s mind when Grandfather has to lay down from exhaustion after those exercises? I bet she is thinking “Oh just die already you old mean thing!”. 🤣😂😆

Sharra
Sharra
7 months ago

So I agree about Mal Ran’s early relationship with Pil Joo I have always thought she groomed him using sex as a tool . I also wonder if that cemented Pil Joo’ s revenge plan. It is obvious that there was sexual attraction between them and still remains. He probably hates the fact that the he had this incestous
relationship with his step mother but also deep down he knows that he gave in as well as due to the attraction. I wonder if that disgust and guilt makes him even more willing to sacrifice himself.
I know others have said it already but the actress playing Mal Ran is phenomenal she matches JH every step of the way.

Drama Fan
7 months ago
Reply to  Sharra

There is something so wrong dark perverse disgusting but also extremely sexy about that sick sick SICK relationship between Piljoo and Mal Ran. Its so sexually I can’t look away even if it turns my stomach. Ahhh I feel like I need to bathe in holy water after watching (and relishing) every one of their interactions. SIN is written all over it.

Drama Fan
7 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

*sexually charged, is what I meant to say

beez
7 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

We knew exactly what you meant. 😉

Sharra
Sharra
7 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan. Completely agree! So so wrong but completely compelling at the same time.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
7 months ago

So Pil Joo did try to save Mo Hyeon from the clutches of Cheong Ah. He was willing to abandon all of his plans for her becoming a daughter-in-law in the Jang family. I think it was Mal Ran’s slap that made him remember his vow for revenge.
Boo Cheon is so pathetic and clueless, but I have to say he has brilliant insights sometimes.

Georgia Peach
7 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

SnowFlower….the slap and The Knife! What a cold reminder of the revenge he was after. This brought PilJoo ‘back to his senses’. Little does Mal Ran know she has sealed her own fate by rekindling that resolve. But imagine being willing to give up love for revenge…shivers at the thought❗️

Drama Fan
6 months ago
Reply to  Georgia Peach

He has been on revenge mode for so many years, imagine giving “that” up for love though, its like giving up your (sad, lonely, pathetic, tragic, twisted) reason for existing, almost…Piljoo is Revenge, Revenge is Piljoo.

Shyama
Shyama
7 months ago

How did miss this phenomena that’s Jang Hyuk all this time! He’s amazing. I don’t know who I’m more in love with.. Pil Joo or Jang Hyuk. Could any other actor have done justice to this role? Will I be able to see Jang Hyuk as any other character except Pil Joo!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
7 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

@Shyama, you can try watching Jang Hyuk as Daegil in Chuno…

Drama Fan
7 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

I think the closest character to Piljoo “acting wise” would be his Lee Bang Won in My Country

Ally
7 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

You’re right! The “man with the fan” Bang Won. His demeanor is very similar.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

That fan work 😍 I think Bangwon is my third favourite after Daegil and Pilju – though he is SO handsome as Bangwon. Crazy bad and everything, I mean killing your brothers is so not cool. But, gah, a swoosh of the fan and my moral compass strays 😆
I realised I should have said, once stuckie on Hyukie, it’s for life 💓

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

Ah, Shyama, once hooked by Hyuk, there’s no turning back 😍😍😍

Trent
7 months ago

Whew. One thing that immediately struck me with both of these episodes is that this is definitely a show that knows how to really set the end-of-episode hook. I was practically vibrating off my seat at the end of both of these. Ep. 3…Mo-hyun is clearly upset or preoccupied with something, and then Pil-joo walks up and asks if she remembers him, and she looks him dead in the eye and calls him by his real name. And then ep. 4, Boo-cheon in an ultra-public live television appearance, happy girlfriend standing supportively off camera, and the jilted mistress sidles up to slide an ultrasound pic in his front pocket. Absolutely no need for her to say more; indeed, any more at that point would be overkill, it’s perfectly obvious to us that she’s announcing she’s pregnant and it’s his kid.

I continue to be conflicted about Boo-cheon and Mo-hyun. The show has a fairly intricate needle to thread, I think. On the one hand, for the show to be maximally effective, we need to more or less be rooting for Mo-hyun. We need to see that she is a decent person, with “normal people” values, someone who is generally sympathetic. Probably also helpful if we don’t see her as an idiot or completely clueless. And yet the show also needs to fairly efficiently get her and Boo-cheon to a point where they are believably in a serious relationship, such that Mo-hyun can be sincerely contemplating marrying into that wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Cheong A. And for that to be believable, to the extent that it is, Boo-cheon can’t be a complete wretch, a complete waste of a human being. Yes, he is weak and has many failings, but I think there is something there. A lot of it is just faking it, sure, but surely not all of it. I think it’s important to recognize that.

I think the show does just about as well as it can be expected to thread that needle, and yet even so…suspension of disbelief is still…stretched, shall we say. Mo-hyun is falling in love awfully quickly and conveniently. I get that infatuation can strike quickly and is rarely susceptible to rational analysis, but… Particularly since she has her first encounter with the buzz saw that is Mal-ran near the end of episode 4. Not gonna lie, if my prospective mother-in-law was acting like that when I first sat down to meet them, I would be out the door so fast you would swear I had teleported.

Last thought(s). The music for this so far has been incredible. It’s like an extra supporting character or something, just the ominous piano riffs in the background.

And, I lack the critical vocabulary to describe this adequately, but the direction and cinematography in this show is so precise and mannered. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Jang Hyuk’s coiled intensity. Onward!

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Yes, Trent, Mohyun’s soft-heartedness is so in contrast to the rest of the black hearts, it sometimes stretches credulity. But, as you say, the show requires her to be that way. I think, when we see her in the context of her own, functional family, her character is clearer, less naive-seeming.
Agree the music adds a layer of drama that helps tighten or loosen – depending on the scene – the coiled intensity within Pilju. It only gets better too 😊

Georgia Peach
7 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

EN…let’s not forget MoHyun’s father has sold her out to get financial backing from said evil family so he can obtain the presidency. So much for her ‘functional family’. Although we do see from ‘daddy’ the desire for MH to be happy and protected…still it’s a terrible thing to do to your daughter for political gain. I mean who could possibly guarantee that, for heaven’s sake?

Drama Fan
7 months ago
Reply to  Georgia Peach

I already can feel the regret in her father though. I think he is genuinely a decent guy, trying to win through legitimate means but seeing how impossible it seems, he got tempted and fell spectacularly from grace. It’s so sad to see.

Georgia Peach
6 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

DF…..so far there doesn’t seem to be any winners in this drama. All have fallen victim to the lesser angels! It does make for good drama (makjang) !!!! On to episodes 5 & 6.

Georgia Peach
7 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent, BuCheon is an interesting character, isn’t he? Seems to perhaps be the only person in this cast of black hearts that could possibly have some redemptive qualities. I’ve seen traces of humanity come out from him also in his relationship with MH. She is so different from his other women and he is beginning to recognize that; and it has made him question how he’s related to those other women in the past. So far he’s only known how to use other people. Even his mother is using him to gain power in CheongA… she knows how irresponsible he is and she’ll use that against him and run the company herself. Poor BuCheon is easily imitated.

phl1rxd
6 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Ah Trent – “that wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Cheong A” is perfection.

Trent
6 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Heh. Love to throw in the occasional classical reference just to keep everyone on their toes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcb4_QwP6fE

phl1rxd
6 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent – Ha! That made my day! The story of Star Wars is a classic in every sense of the word and it will be as remembered for generations to come.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
6 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Ah, Sir Alec…

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
7 months ago

Ah, these cliffhangers! No other show does them better than Money Flower!

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
7 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@SnowFlower Love. It. 💓💓💓💓💓